Since spring 2011, I've been a teacher creating resources for other teachers. It has been a remarkable learning experience- to say the least. I've been a small-side business owner of my shop five years this spring & those geniuses in the business world say it takes about FIVE years to get a business started off well.
In light of my 5 year anniversary, I'd like to share with you what I have learned about using social media outlets to aid in marketing a side business (a mysterious topic indeed)!
If you're a (teachers pay teachers) tpt seller, you've most likely done some research on what "works" and doesn't in the social media (SM) world. If you're like me, you might have never taken a marketing or business class in college, but figuring things out & learning is part of life. So here it is from my observations & experiences: (People, this is big & is going to come in parts!) This post will be solely about Facebook (FB). So, here we go!
Tips for using FB to market your TPT shop:
1. Less really IS more!
*People, I cannot say this enough: Your friends who follow you on FB (instagram or twitter) don't want to see you post a product or "salesy" post every day. They don't love you that much. Seriously. :) Just like you don't want to get on FB and be bombarded with ads, neither do they. You don't take your
-Make a schedule. Post 1-2 salesy posts per week- at the MOST for FB, instagram and twitter. (we'll talk about pinterest later!)
-Know your audience. By creating a FB business page, you can attract the friends who are in the educational field, no one else and only those friend will see you posts on your business page. You don't take your friends to work and so you wouldn't expose your friends to work related stuff online either which they have no interest in.
2. Getting my FB Posts Seen:
YIKES! That's a tough one. Let's do some history. When I started my FB page (finally) in 2014, things were booming for marketing. In fact, my sales jumped up a lot within the first three months of using it. HOWEVER, since then, FB has polled its users and they just flat out don't like salesy posts- even on a business page- people.
As a matter of fact, FB now uses algorithms to control certain salesy posts on your business page, limiting who of your FOLLOWERS actually see your posts. Double yikes. So, what does that mean to you?
How do I get people who FOLLOW my business page to SEE my posts?
-GROUP PAGE: You can "friend" whoever follows your page and then, WITH THEIR PERMISSION, add them to a created group page for your business. (All your posts will be seen on the group members' feeds.) **(I don't do this because I like my family life to be private and my business followers would then see what my friends see on my personal page).
-DISGUISE YOUR POSTS: OR, you can limit your salesly posts & or link them from pinterest or from a blog (even yours) + disguise your salesy words with "sharing" language : ie. "Check out this really cute idea for your classroom!" ;) Don't use salesy pervasive langauge. Think "Friend language", not business jargon.
-COMMENT on your own posts. FB likes it when people interact about a post & the more interaction there is, the more they put it out there. (Obviously, no more than 1 comment of your own is allowed on a post unless you're responding to people who are actually commenting.) Haha!
-SCHEDULE: This helps you keep sanity & it also hits your users at the RIGHT time to maximize the number of people who see the post when it hits FB.
(To do this, look at your STATS on your business page & see when people who follow your page are on FB. Then schedule your posts at those times on those days by clicking on the drop down arrow under the post.
- Mostly, teachers are on FB around 7-10pm at night on week days only. Don't even bother posting on the weekends (including Friday nights).
-WAIT: This may seem ODD, but I've found that if I follow the above techniques & wait between posts 3+ days, the more people see the post. I'm not sure why this is. Maybe FB keeps putting it out there. There must be a magic window for this.
Example: If I go a few weeks between posts (which I did last summer), my viewers dwindle, but if I keep posting on a regular bases & wait even as much as a week between posts, the numbers on the posts climb! This is crazy. Again, I haven't figured this one out yet, but it's an observation I've made.
3. How do I get more interaction on my posts?
Hurtle: Getting more interaction = posts seen by more people.
-Ugh. This is a challenge. Think about when you scroll down your feed. How many posts do you actually take the time to comment on? Let's be realistic. It has to appeal to you in a MAJOR way for you to feel like typing in a comment, so expect that you're not going to have a lot of interaction. If your posts are seen, that's good enough.
-People want to know you're actively creating products and sharing teacher ideas, embracing the teacher lifestyle. By at least posting & following the tips above to get you posts out there, you will be in the near forefront of followers' crowded minds. So set a goal to do 40% informative posts about education, 20% salesy disguised as sharing, and 40% fun posts (jokes, neat positive stuff, pinterest ideas, pics of what you're doing in your classroom, etc).
Remember, getting yourself "out there" takes time...
I hope these were some helpful tips. If you're able to try some out in the next month, come back and comment to let me know how it went for you!
*Interested in learning about using Pinterest & other social media platforms? Make sure you sign up (top right) to receive notice of posts to follow this fall about SM!